Riyadh, 29 September 2023(TDI): Pakistan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have wrapped up their last round of discussions concerning the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

According to a press release issued on Friday, Pakistan and the GCC have officially concluded the Free Trade Agreement.

The joint statement for the Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement was signed by Dr. Ejaz, the Federal Minister for Commerce, and the Secretary General of the GCC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The conclusive round of negotiations took place at the GCC Headquarters in Riyadh from September 26 to September 28.

This represents a noteworthy development, as the Free Trade Agreement is the first of its kind entered into by the GCC with any country since 2009, marking a significant milestone in the economic cooperation between both parties.

During the event, Dr. Gohar Ejaz remarked that Pakistan maintains strong relations with all GCC nations, and this Free Trade Agreement will ensure that our economic connections align with the strength of these diplomatic ties.

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A joint statement was signed by Dr. Gohar Ejaz, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, the Secretary General of the GCC to commemorate the successful conclusion and finalization of the FTA negotiations.

The statement reads, “Both Parties eagerly anticipate the prompt signing, ratification, and execution of the Agreement, which will signify the beginning of a new era in the economic relations between our respective parties.”

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Following this, there will be an internal administrative and approval process before the agreement is signed and comes into effect.

Following a memorandum of understanding on strategic dialogue, the plan laid out a comprehensive approach to enhance cooperation across multiple domains, encompassing political, security, trade and investment, agricultural and food security, transportation, energy, environment, health, culture, and education.